Lexical Meaning in Context: A Web of Words

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9780511793936: Lexical Meaning in Context: A Web of Words

This is a book about the meanings of words and how they can combine to form larger meaningful units, as well as how they can fail to combine when the amalgamation of a predicate and argument would produce what the philosopher Gilbert Ryle called a 'category mistake'. It argues for a theory in which words get assigned both an intension and a type. The book develops a rich system of types and investigates its philosophical and formal implications, for example the abandonment of the classic Church analysis of types that has been used by linguists since Montague. The author integrates fascinating and puzzling observations about lexical meaning into a compositional semantic framework. Adjustments in types are a feature of the compositional process and account for various phenomena including coercion and copredication. This book will be of interest to semanticists, philosophers, logicians and computer scientists alike.

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Book Description:

What is a word? In some sense the answer is obvious: words are things dictionaries try to define. This book offers an innovative formal framework for investigating the meanings of words, how word meanings compose together to form sentence meanings and how discourse context can affect the compositional process.

About the Author:

Nicholas Asher is Directeur de Recherche CNRS, Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier and Professor of Philosophy and of Linguistics at the University of Texas, Austin. He is author of Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse (1993) and co-author of Logics of Conversation (2003) with Alex Lascarides.

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